Words compete with thoughts that compete with dreams that compete with memories that compete with prayers. Bits and pieces of the past several weeks float to the surface, fighting to be discussed, analyzed, processed through, evaluated. Yet, despite the cacophony of events and emotions surging forward, I’ve needed to process in near silence. Like Mary, my heart has been treasuring much, pondering sweet, broken items in the recesses of my soul.
Yes, David and I have talked. Matter of fact, several friends have compassionately allowed me to regurgitate all over them. What’s more, my Creator has been pursuing me with great abandon…so much so, that I want to pursue Him no matter what answers emerge from the coming months.
That, in and of itself, is a huge leap forward.
Yesterday, rain drops and 50 degree weather signaled a paralleling shift in seasons. During the wee hours of the morning Tuesday, I was comforted and lulled by the steady pounding of droplets on the skylights above my bed. Autumn is just around the corner. Imagine that. The scorching heat of summer is being overtaken by the glorious colors and smells of fall. Sometimes the process happens ever so slowly. Sometimes it happens in a rush.
While I attempt to put myself on the fast track to answers, the Holy Spirit has been ever so softly doing a completely different work. Yes, the glorious colors will one day transform shriveling, parched foliage. Yes, the fragrance of peace and comfort will waft with the cinnamon and cloves of the season. But, not all at once. Not quickly. Not in a rush.
Do you ever have one of those months when you realize that God has been patiently waiting for you to realize what He’s wanted to show you for a long, long time? I’m having one of those. That month when the gentle whisper of God’s Presence undoes me. That month when I remember what that gentle whisper feels and sounds like. That month when I want that gentle whisper whether or not it is speaking what I desire to hear.
I want Him. I’m undone.
Rewind several more days. The new sermon series title drove home a life motto: “Before I Die: Trust.” Tears streamed down my face through worship, preaching, prayer, and praise. A young couple shared their story of believing in a God who held their hands and then held them close as their infant son died 54 minutes after birth. Days before their son was born, the wife chose to be baptized to profess her faith and dedicate her very sick unborn child to his Heavenly Father. Mountains outlined a setting sun, as a Colorado lake submerged mother and child both – in surrender.
Surrender wrapped up in love. A God who loves us, loves me. Loves us so much that He has been pursuing us from the beginning of time. A God who loves us in our brokenness and holds us in our sorrow.
Trusting Him, as we die. Trusting Him, so we live.
Last week I boarded a plane for Houston, bound for the Women’s Hospital of Texas and a specialist who fit me into his busy schedule to try to diagnosis a plethora of symptoms. Eight vials of blood, an HSG procedure, and an ultrasound later, I’ve been diagnosed with a syndrome that has no known cause and no known cure. Yet, I am relieved. Relieved to know. Relieved to begin researching nutritional and medical treatments. Ready to pray…for a miracle.
Believe it or not, David and I still want to get pregnant. Two years ago when we first began down this path, our lives made more sense. David had a job. My health seemed good. Our decision was private. We had been married more than the agreed upon three years. Now, David is a full-time student. I earn a Christian school salary. I’m tired and struggling with guilt for a seemingly “selfish” desire to have a baby. Who am I to dare to be a mother?
Three small white rose bushes lined the chest of drawers in my girlhood bedroom, placed their by my thoughtful mother. It was almost eerie to be back in the home of my childhood, the home where I dreamed of marriage, family, children, while on a mission to discover why David and I have never rejoiced over a positive pregnancy test. Now, I was confirming a suspicion that conception will most likely not occur naturally for me. My mom held me, as I cried that “It was not okay.” She sat in hospital waiting rooms while I was shuttled from department to department. She left me roses. She is pretty amazing.
The day after all the tests I felt numb and violated, shocked by my resistance to the thought of a miracle, afraid of what a miracle might mean.
Days of preparation stretch out before me. I’m returning to Houston and the specialist’s office in October for a two week treatment. A treatment that could result in pregnancy. A treatment that could result in a fellow patient’s life being changed, as I allow my testimony to diffuse the fragrance of God’s presence in waiting rooms and office chairs. A treatment that might not seem to change anything in my physical body. But, a treatment that is already changing me, healing me.
You see, God spoke this weekend. I didn’t hear a confirmation of conception, nor did I hear a specific direction for the future. But, rather, a gentle whisper urged me on. A whisper that urged me to be healed before I know all the answers. Before I know how David and I will become parents in our current financial situation. Before I know how I would cope with a failed treatment. Before I know how I would cope with a miracle. Before I know if I should even continue to go through with this process.
Not in a rush came God’s gentle whisper. Slowly, ever so slowly. I believe I’m processing aloud. Forgive my introspective egotism. May my story and my struggling at least compel you to fight your own fights and surrender to whatever that gentle whisper has been urging you to do.
Trusting Him, as we die. Trusting Him, so we live.
“Autumn Maple Leaves” from http://www.colourlovers.com/blog/2007/09/23/seasonal-color-inspiration-autumn/
“Before I Die” from http://beforeidie.cc/site/press/